When I first suggested camping to my husband I think he thought I was joking, crazy or both. It certainly isn’t his holiday of choice, but as we’re trying to save some money it seemed like a great idea for getting away without spending a fortune.
After a little research, and a phone call to my avid camping brother-in-law, I had managed to find somewhere to stay, via pitchup.com and had borrowed most of the equipment we needed.
I booked to stay at a lovely site, Farm Park just outside Tenby in Pembrokeshire. Friendly, clean, simple, and access to Manorbier beach, just wanted we needed.
Packing for a camping trip isn’t for the faint hearted, it takes organising, but a bit of research on good only Pinterest and I had complied a list of everything we would need…hopefully.
Instead of boring you with the full list, following this link to one of my favourite printables http://bring-the-kids.com/the-ultimate-family-camping-checklist-free-printable/
We departed for Tenby one sunny bank holiday weekend for five nights of ‘roughing it’. Hubby still wasn’t convinced, myself and the kids were very excited.
Arriving the kids where full of energy after being stuck in the car for several hours, but with a few prepapared toys to hand, and a great big field to run around, while hubby and I struggled to erect the tent, they were fantastic. By dinner time the others were ready for an adventure to the beach while I relaxed with a drink and made dinner in the sunshine. PERFECT!
The week consisted of relaxing on the beach with picnics and a visit to the absolutely brilliant Folly Farm! We really did have the best time, obviously the fact we had near perfect weather helped of course, but it really couldn’t have gone better.
Myself and the kids would have stayed even longer but hubby is still a little less than in love with camping, but he wouldn’t be completely adversed to going again.
So what did I learn from our very first camping trip as a family? I have a made a list of my top tips for a great camping trip:
- Be organised – make sure you create a list of everything you need, there is a lot to remember.
- Take some toys – when you arrive make sure you have something to keep them busy, a ball, a new sticker book some favourite cars.
- Practice putting up the tent – make sure you practice to make sure you can put it up as quickly as possible, if you have time have a little go sleeping in the tent so the kids know what to expect.
- Be prepared to throw your usual routine out the window – with busy days they’re likely to fall asleep in the car on the way back from the beach/day out, so forget set bath times and bedtimes and go with the flow, let them enjoy their holiday and play ball games while you relax in your camping chair with a cheeky beverage.
- Let them explore – the first night hubby took the kiddies for an adventure to the beach and they picked up some ‘marshmallow sticks’ and got to toast them on the fire, they loved it. At the beach we went rock pooling, and we found a beautiful stream that Gethin spent about an hour investigating. Camping is all about the great outdoors, so let them (and yourself) enjoy it.
- Pack Layers – the daytime can be lovely and warm, but at night the temperature can drop, so wear layers to keep you warm.
- Keep the tent organised – sounds simple but it will make your life easier, I purchased some hanging selves, only to find I had nowhere to hang them, but they worked just as well on the floor, great for storing clothes, nappies, toys etc…
- Meal Plan – I love to plan my weekly meals and camping was no exception.
- Make your bed comfortable – we had an inflatable bed which was great, but the kids had small selfinflating mattresses…BIG MISTAKE. Ensure you buy something with raised sides for the little ones. We found the wriggled around so much they would roll off their mattresses and end up on the cold floor causing them to wake, Go Outdoors have some amazing offers.
- Have fun!!!!!
We really did have a fantastic time camping, sleeping arrangements could have been better, but lesson learnt. Would we go again, defiantly. It was a great family holiday, and it cost very little, especially as we booked a site without a club house and spent our days at the beach.